News Items In Category XCareer/Life

40 Universities Form ‘BridgesAlliance’ to Address Workforce Barriers

Posted on Jul 15, 2020 in Career/Life

The following was announced July 15 by our partners at PeopleGrove, who power the KU Mentoring platform.

The threats facing higher education and the economy have accelerated amid a global pandemic and have made future paths for students and recent alumni unclear. In an effort to unite institutions and their communities, PeopleGrove introduces the BridgesAlliance, a growing network of 40 universities worldwide that have pledged to connect students to meaningful experiential learning, and open doors to non-traditional career opportunities.

In a pilot program this summer with Wellesley College, the founding member of BridgesAlliance, more than 300 students have been hired through the college’s network.

“We approached PeopleGrove to help us serve current students and class of 2020 graduates facing a challenging job and internship market. Our goal was to fill this gap through skill-building and networking experiences that were short-term and virtual in nature,” said Jen Pollard, Director of Operations and Analytics for Career Education at Wellesley College. “Bridges has helped us celebrate what makes our community diverse and unique, promote a deeper level of connection, and reach record engagement in experiential learning. We’ve increased accessibility to opportunities for all students in a way that is meaningful and lasting.”

Members of the BridgesAlliance include Wellesley College, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia State University, University of Miami, Drew University. A full list of members appears below. These institutions will leverage their networks, including alumni, families, supporters and corporate partners, to provide students with real-world career experiences in respective fields.

“Our university stands behind the values of diversity and inclusion, and joining the BridgesAlliance will support us in achieving a new vision of equitable access to immersive experiences and mentoring for all students – regardless of background or social capital,” said Farouk Dey, Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life at Johns Hopkins University. “Joining this alliance enables us to partner with a network of peers in higher education to empower all students to design their most audacious futures.”

Like-minded universities are encouraged to join the BridgesAlliance and pledge their commitment to connecting students and alumni with mutually beneficial experiential learning engagements.

Rising seniors and recent graduates face a challenging job market

“Hiring freezes and the withdrawal of jobs and internships are just a couple of challenges today’s students and recent graduates are facing – we must tap into the wealth of knowledge and innovation that exists in higher education,” said Adam Saven, co-founder and CEO at PeopleGrove. “Universities from across the country have banded together to form BridgesAlliance, and will work to identify new ways to get graduates into the workforce at a time when their skills are needed most.”

PeopleGrove helps higher education institutions bring personalized, connection-focused communities to students and alumni. PeopleGrove’s Bridges online platform empowers students and universities to tap into their network of alumni, parents and friends for short-term project-based work. BridgesAlliance magnifies the power of Bridges, providing access to real-world work experience shared across PeopleGrove’s network of innovative institutions.

“By engaging our rich and diverse network of alumni, we can connect students to meaningful opportunities that will help them build the skills they need to be successful in the workforce of today and tomorrow,” said Christian Garcia, Associate Dean and Executive Director, Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the BridgesAlliance, and eager to address the pervasive barriers to entering the workforce that today’s graduates are facing, particularly those from marginalized communities.”

To learn more about BridgesAlliance, please visit

BridgeAlliance Partners

Ashford University
Barnard College
Benedictine College
Boise State University
Boston College
Brigham Young University
Clark University
Cornell University
DePaul University
Drew University
Georgia State University
Gonzaga University
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Maryland
Middlebury College
Northeastern University
Ohio University
San Francisco State University
San Jose State University
Seattle University
Southwestern University
Stanford University
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Trinity College
Tulane University of Louisiana
University of Alabama
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Irvine
University of Delaware
University of Kansas
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wellesley College
Williams College

Jayhawks can post their own projects today at

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Seattle Jayhawk feeds the front lines

Posted on Jul 1, 2020 in Alumni News

Ellen KuwanaIt started as a simple idea: donate pizza to the lab workers processing COVID-19 tests at the University of Washington’s virology labs.

But for Ellen Kuwana, c’92, her plan to utilize her lab experience to safely deliver food to health care workers in her free time continued to grow. A side hustle turned into a full-time commitment on weekends and eventually led Kuwana to quit her full-time job to focus on supporting both front-line workers and local restaurants in the Seattle area.

Kuwana, a freelance science writer, launched We Got This Seattle to spend her workdays coordinating donations, picking up food from Seattle-area businesses, and bringing the food to lab workers and other health care personnel.

The daughter of a KU chemistry professor, Kuwana graduated from the University with a biology degree before earning her master’s degree at UC San Francisco, where she also worked in research labs. Since then, she’s called Seattle home.

How did We Got This Seattle grow from a one-time idea to a full-time job?

“I would not have embarked on this road had I not been a scientist by training. In January and February 2020, I was spending a lot of time on Twitter following science journalists discussing the situation in China and Italy with the novel coronavirus. Most of our friends, in part because my husband is an MD–PhD, are in science or medicine.

I knew UW Virology was working around the clock, literally 24–7 to process the COVID-19 tests, with 80 people per shift. Health care workers are a visible workforce who get recognition for their work, and I felt the lab personnel deserved some recognition for their part in keeping everyone safe. I tweeted out to three local pizza places, asking who wanted to help me send pizzas as a thank you to UW Virology. I got a donation from one within three minutes. I figured that I could deliver the food safer than a random driver because of my lab training. You learn to not touch your face, and to be very aware of what you are touching, as well as how to properly put on and remove protective gear.

With my husband working six days a week in a hospital, I could not completely keep myself safe, so I decided to do some good with an amount of risk that I was qualified to mitigate to the extent possible. I was working two jobs at the time, and delivering food on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when I wasn’t working my main job. 

This was really just me from March 13 to April 4. Then Signe Burke, who works full time at Amazon, contacted me and wanted to help. She’s been a lifesaver and has helped me with fundraising and tracking the eight to 10 deliveries each day. On April 1, I got a little scared for my safety and hired two college students to help me with picking up and delivering food, as a way to lower my personal risk of getting sick. This was out of concern for myself, but also to protect my husband’s well-being as much as possible, as he is an essential worker. 

On April 10, I quit my job, because this effort was taking 40 to 50 hours a week. It was a tough decision in many ways to quit and fill that time with unpaid volunteer work, yet it also felt right. Sometimes you just know. At the same time I was deciding to quit my job, restaurants had closed. So what began as a gesture of appreciation, delivering food, became a lifeline of meals.”

What’s your relationship with the restaurants?

“The first few meals were donated, but as restaurants went takeout-only and offices and the University of Washington closed, revenue was down 80 to 90 percent for most restaurants. I set up a personal Facebook fundraiser and raised $25,000, then found a 501(c)(3) called Open Collective and connected that to the website so that people could make tax-deductible donations with 100 percent of funds going to local restaurants. I find out what front-line sites need, order from one of 65 plus restaurants I’m working with, pick up the food, and deliver it to a point person at a hospital, clinic, firehouse, homeless shelter, ambulance company, etc. I took the same work ethic and sense of professionalism into this volunteer effort as I would into a $1 million-dollar grant-funded research project.

I didn’t set out to do this—it just snowballed and the need was there. Not only did people in hospitals and labs need meals, but also restaurants desperately needed the business. Almost all have given me some kind of discount, and a few have been able to make rent or bring back a few workers because of the support of We Got This Seattle. The journalist in me loves asking questions, which is how I found out that one Thai restaurant that contacted me and donated two meals were $1500 behind on rent! I made it a point to order more meals from this Thai restaurant and got them enough business that they could pay rent on time. It was a win-win. So our mission statement reflects the importance of supporting local restaurants: Our dual mission is to support our front-line workers and local restaurants during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

And I know it’s meant a lot to the restaurants. One other component of this project is that Seattle has a vibrant Chinatown–International District, and we often go there for food. There are wonderful gift stores and a strong sense of history that you can sense and touch. There have been racist incidents: windows broken, graffiti, business owners threatened. It became important for me to order from many restaurants there as a show of support (and who doesn’t love Chinese food after a long day at work?). Everyone is trying to help each other. Every one of those restaurants has discounted the boxed meals for We Got This Seattle. They suggest other restaurants I should support, if I can. It’s a great community, and I hope everyone weathers this tough time.”

What will you remember from these months?

“There are many stories that will stick with me. An old friend got back in touch with me on Facebook to ask for my help. Her beloved father-in-law, who had been at UW for many years, died from COVID-19 complications, and she wanted to send a meal to the medical team at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) who took such great care of him. It took quite a bit of coordination and more than 20 emails, but we made it happen.

A woman who was a patient at UWMC contacted me and wanted to bring up snacks (several hundred dollars worth), thank you cards and cookies to thank the medical team, and wanted my help to coordinate a lunch, which I did. She has a cochlear implant, which she could not wear when she was sick. Imagine the fear and vulnerability of being in the ICU with this virus, and it’s hard to communicate with your medical team? She said they went above and beyond (and had to get really close to her face) to communicate with her. It was very important to her and her family to thank them, and they drove in from more than an hour away to do so.”

If you want to help, visit We Got This Seattle’s website to learn more.

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The Water Cooler, August 2020

Posted on Aug 20, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

In May, against the background of COVID-19, we celebrated graduation and the arrival of summer. Now in August, we prepare for fall along with the return to school still amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic.

This issue of the Water Cooler features articles and stories that highlight the roles school and continuing education play in our personal and professional lives. Read about the importance of professional development and how COVID-19 is shaping the fall semester at KU.

We continue our commitment to bringing you important articles about diversity and equity, share the story of how an MBA student has benefitted from KU Mentoring and describe how alumni and corporate partners can help recent graduates and current students through the new Bridges program. All of this month’s pieces highlight a constant in our ever changing world, Jayhawks always Flock Together.

Rock Chalk.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

The Water Cooler July 2020 | Jayhawk Career Network

Let’s Talk: Back to School

Create a Bridge to opportunities

Bridges is KU’s marketplace for connecting students and recent grads to real-world, experiential projects that benefit your business.

The Bridges marketplace is fueled by individuals like you – fellow alumni, families, and businesses. In minutes, you can create short-term, virtual projects for students and alumni to help them launch their careers.

Need a logo created? Bridges can help.
Need a social media campaign created? Bridges can help.
Need data analyzed? Bridges can help.

Post a project

Just because you graduated, doesn’t mean you stopped learning.

As a Jayhawk, you have exclusive access to a range of online learning tools.

Upcoming webinars explore how to be resilient when facing adversity, as well as the power of storytelling for building inclusive environments, and how to embrace your authentic self to stand out and thrive.

Next month bestselling author of “Switch” and “Made to Stick”, Dan Heath, will share insights on how to solve problems before they happen based on his newest book “Upstream”.

Take a look

20 ways to advance your professional development in 2020

You don’t have to wait for a new year, a birthday, or a new job opportunity to reinvigorate your career.

You can make “New Years’ resolutions” whenever you want—halfway through the year, or at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday. You can make today the beginning of the year where you dedicate yourself to your career.

Read more

Ex-Google VP’s new app is helping 30,000 Kansas students return to college

Former Google Maps and Google Earth exec Brian McClendon has launched a symptom-checking app aimed at helping communities contain COVID-19.

To open campus buildings safely, the KU worked with a nonprofit called CVKey Project to pilot a symptom-checking app among a small group of staff that needed to access research archives and laboratories. The app reviews symptoms and either clears users to go into school or directs them to stay home and contact a health professional for further guidance. Now, KU is preparing to roll out the CVKey app to its student population of nearly 30,000 for entry into 266 buildings across campus.

Read more

Leadership 101: You’re the boss — so now what?

One of the most difficult professional transitions anyone can make is becoming the boss, advancing from team member to supervisor or manager, especially if you become the boss of your former peers. But a big transition doesn’t have to mean a trial by fire.

With guidance on a few key elements of successful leadership, and a willingness to keep growing and improving, you can take on your new responsibilities with confidence. All leaders and managers should hone their skills and grow in areas with room for improvement.

Read more

Your principal role awaits

The Water Cooler July 2020 | Jayhawk Career Network

Compassionate Conversations

The importance of diversity in education

New ideas about diversity and inclusion have developed, shifting the focus towards enriching human learning and experience, so-called ‘unity in diversity.’  

When it comes to education, ‘unity in diversity’ in the classroom doesn’t seem a farfetched idea anymore for any globally minded teacher. This can be accomplished by either having technology that connects students with foreign knowledge and cultures or by having an international student body to make the learning environment multicultural and diverse.  

Read more


When Experts Attack!: LGBTQ rights won’t lead to frivolous lawsuits

Recently, the United States Supreme Court deemed it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees for sexual orientation or transgender status.

In this episode, Kyle Velte, associate professor of law, explains why the SCOTUS ruling is a “landmark case that will transform the American workplace.” She also recounts her own experiences at the Supreme Court and tells us how the highest court in the land conducts its business in the age of COVID-19.

Read more

Campus Connections

Jayhawk Business Directory

The Jayhawk Business Directory is the newest way to increase exposure to your business through our directory of alumni-owned and operated businesses.

List your business on the Jayhawk Business Directory so that ‘Hawks everywhere can support you and your company.

Adding your business to the directory is exclusive to KU Alumni members and current corporate partners*.

List your business

*If you’re interested in learning more about corporate partnership opportunities with KU Alumni Association for your company let us know!

Empathethic recruiters get creative to fill incoming class

When early bands of the coronavirus hurricane reached as far inland as Mount Oread, the threat to classes consumed campus with worry. Yet while their administration and academic colleagues scrambled to salvage the spring semester, the admissions team was already gazing toward the next line of storms: the August start of the next academic year.

Could KU still recruit and retain a vibrant freshman class?

Read more

MBA student connects with alumni through KU Mentoring platform

Full-time MBA student Dan Coviello started his KU education knowing the university’s alumni network was a powerful tool. He wasted no time taking advantage of it through KU Mentoring, a platform that connects students with alumni, faculty and staff.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to talk to new people, learn and see what makes the most sense for me as I go into health care,” Coviello explained.

Read more

Jayhawks in the News

Jayhawks in the news

Our walk may look different

I’m sorry. It was not supposed to be this way. It’s okay to mourn the loss of what you thought this season would look like. Whether you walk through the Campanile and down the Hill in May or not, you are not walking away empty handed. You are walking away with incredible mentors who saw a light in you from the beginning. You are walking away with a joy that comes from finally finding your voice, confidence and inner peace with who you are.

Your walk may look different, but it is not bad.

Recent graduate, Brianna Mears, j’20, reflects on the abrupt end of her senior year by writing to her freshman-self.

Read more

Teachers find limits—and innovation—in remote learning transition

In a typical year, Laura Diede and her 10-person staff help 150 instructors create videos, record lectures and find other ways to put class lessons online.

After KU announced in March it would transition all classes to remote-learning formats to protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19, “It’s basically everyone who needs to do it,” says Diede, c’03, g’09, director of the Center for Online and Distance Learning (CODL). “So we’re helping everyone. It’s an explosion.”

Read more


Find even more events on KU Connection >>>

Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

This session will share research on how issues of diversity and inclusiveness impact our workforce, workplace relationships, organizational productivity, and employee satisfaction and dignity.

11 a.m. CT
Thursday, Aug. 20

The Gift of Adversity: Turning Adversity into Opportunity

While preparing to deploy with the U.S. Army, Marcus suffered a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed. After dying on the operating table twice, the surgeons saved his life, but told him he’d never walk again. In his webinar Marcus will talk about mental resilience, unconditional gratitude and ways to adapt to events outside your control, apply the Adversity Scale and find opportunity in any Adversity.

12 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 26

Rock Chalk Connect | Chicago Network Virtual Happy Hour

Join fellow KU Alumni for a virtual happy hour. Meet other Jayhawks from the Chicago area!

6 p.m. CT
Wednesday, Aug. 26

Rock Chalk Connect | Dallas Network Virtual Happy Hour

Join fellow KU Alumni for a virtual happy hour. Meet other Jayhawks from the Dallas area!

6 p.m. CT
Wednesday, Aug. 27

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

Bestselling author Dan Heath reveals how some leaders have learned to spot problems in advance: a school district that can predict which students will drop out — 4 years before graduation. An internet service company that can predict which customers are likely to cancel their subscriptions — as early as two weeks after they sign up! When we shift from downstream response to upstream planning, it can cause miracles.

12 p.m. ET
Thursday, Sept. 10

Wear a Jayhawk

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The Water Cooler, July 2020

Posted on Jul 21, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler July 2020 | Jayhawk Career Network

In this month’s Water Cooler we introduce new programs focused on providing professional development opportunities for Jayhawks. We also continue our commitment to highlighting resources that support personal and professional wellness and growth in the time of COVID-19.

In addition to features on healthcare, education and professional development, we’re also pleased to announce access to programing from best-selling authors and career experts through the Jayhawk Career Network. Subscribe to KU Connection to be the first to hear about upcoming KU events.

And finally, we’re happy to announce the creation of Bridges Opportunities. Bridges is KU’s marketplace for connecting students and recent grads to real-world, experiential projects that benefit businesses by providing companies access to talent that can support creative solutions and help advance specific projects.

The Bridges marketplace is fueled by individuals like you – fellow alumni, families, and businesses. In minutes, you can create short-term, virtual projects for students and alumni that will help them launch their careers and benefit your business. Every project helps build the bridge to opportunity. Help KU be an industry leader in creating opportunities in these unpredictable times by being part of this unprecedented effort.

Let’s show everyone what this community is about, Jayhawks Flock Together.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

The Water Cooler July 2020 | Jayhawk Career Network

Let’s Talk: Personal & Professional Wellness

Health Insurance in the Time of COVID-19

With millions of Americans unemployed due to the recent pandemic, many are also newly uninsured. Now more than ever it is important to have health insurance. Not only does this coverage provide financial protection from unexpected medical costs, but it also encourages good health and well-being through preventative care services.

There are options for those who have recently become unemployed due to COVID-19. Many states are offering special enrollment periods if you’ve lost your coverage as a result of the pandemic. Find out more about these extended enrollment periods at

Short-term health coverage is another option if you are currently uninsured. Short-term plans accept applicants year-round and may help offset unexpected medical costs.

Learn more

*Sponsored by our connections at The Alumni Insurance Program

Help create a Bridge to opportunities

Bridges is KU’s marketplace for connecting students and recent grads to real-world, experiential projects that benefit businesses.

The Bridges marketplace is fueled by individuals like you – fellow alumni, families, and businesses. In minutes, you can create short-term, virtual projects for students and alumni to help them launch their careers. Help KU be an industry leader in creating opportunities in these unpredictable times by being part of this unprecedented effort.

Post a project

The best ways to land a good job: new research on authenticity

With 21 million people unemployed, finding a new job has become a job. People looking for work receive conflicting advice: use LinkedIn, don’t post updates on LinkedIn, be yourself, or cater to what you think the employer wants.

Here’s what some of the latest research tells us about the best ways to find a new job.

Read more

New study advocates updating approach to teaching supply chain curriculum

“Nobody worries about the supply chain until something goes wrong,” said Joe Walden, the assistant area director in analytics, information and operations management at the University of Kansas.

A sudden, unexpected shift in this crucial process is one of the reasons Walden has written “Supply Chain Management Systems and Curriculum Reviews: What Are We Teaching About Supply Chain Management Systems? Do We Need to Modify Our Curriculums?” The paper advocates for conducting course and curriculum reviews in order to safeguard students in supply chain programs from being harmed by a lack of exposure to the various procedures in place.

Read more

For good impression, leave phone alone during work meetings

To get on the good side of a new boss, colleague or acquaintance in a business meeting, leave your cellphone stashed in your pocket or purse.

That is the implication of a new study conducted by Cameron Piercy, University of Kansas assistant professor of communication studies, and Greta Underhill, KU doctoral candidate. “Expectations of technology use during meetings: An experimental test of manager policy, device use, and task acknowledgment” was published in the journal Mobile Media & Communication.

Read more

New! Get your business in front of Jayhawks

Jayhawks Flock Together and what better way to show our support of one another than to support Jayhawk businesses?

If you own a business (or know a Jayhawk who does) add your company to our brand new Jayhawk Business Directory and help us launch this new resource to connect Jayhawks.

List your business

Off-Campus Student Housing at Best Western Plus. Full amenities. No lease. $1,295 monthly.

The Water Cooler July 2020 | Jayhawk Career Network

Compassionate Conversations

Tips for starting a DEI committee

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is becoming an increasingly valued part of the workplace conversation. As a result, many mission-driven organizations are signaling their desire to institutionalize workplace DEI practices by launching a staff-led taskforce, working groups, and committees.

Perhaps you’re even thinking about starting a DEI committee at your own organization. If so, consider the following tips to ensure your group is consistently effective and enduring.

Read more


5 powerful ways to take REAL action on DEI

People need new ways to think about and talk about diversity. Leaders need new skills to enable equity and inclusion in the workplace. And organizations need scalable ways to ensure that their diversity & inclusion initiatives avoid common mistakes and are solid and sustainable.

CCL uses their proprietary REAL™ framework to help companies understand the dynamics of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in their particular organization and context — and to identify specific actions they can take to help them drive desired progress.

Read more

Campus Connections

Prepare for leadership on a global scale

Choose coursework that’s centered on the opportunities and challenges of global leadership. With our highly ranked online MBA, you can build a strong network as a Jayhawk and develop the skills to advance your career. Named the No. 31 Best Online MBA[1] , our program provides the quality education you’d expect from an on-campus curriculum, with the flexibility that supports ideal study-life balance.

Learn more today!

1.Retrieved on June 16 3, 2020, from

Sponsored by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business

Get KU’s best, delivered to your nest

KU Connection is your one-stop shop featuring virtual events, resources and news from the University of Kansas and our global alumni base.

Don’t miss a beat – get KU Connection delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe today

KU offers new online professional skills certificate

With the national unemployment rate close to 14.7%, standing out in a sea of resumes is key to finding or advancing a career.

The new, specialized Undergraduate Certificate in Advanced Professional Skills from the University of Kansas offers courses focused on in-demand workplace skills.

Read more

Jayhawks in the News

Jayhawks in the news

Seattle Jayhawk feeds the front lines

It started as a simple idea: donate pizza to the lab workers processing COVID-19 tests at the University of Washington’s virology labs.

But for Ellen Kuwana, c’92, her plan to utilize her lab experience to safely deliver food to health care workers in her free time continued to grow. A side hustle turned into a full-time commitment on weekends and eventually led Kuwana to quit her full-time job to focus on supporting both front-line workers and local restaurants in the Seattle area.

Read more

Parents, take note: Health System’s daily COVID-19 broadcast to sepdn a week exploring safe return to school

The University of Kansas Health System’s daily COVID-19 briefing, launched at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic as a resource for area reporters and news directors, has blossomed into must-see viewing for journalists and members of the public alike, all of whom can tune in live on Facebook at 8 a.m. on weekdays or watch archived replays on Facebook and YouTube.

Read more


Rock Chalk Connect | KC Jayhawks & Java

Join fellow KU Alumni for a virtual Jayhawks & Java breakfast. Meet other Jayhawks from the Greater KC area!

8-9 a.m. CT
Thursday, July 23

KU School of Law | Wichita Alumni Happy Hour

Join Dean Stephen Mazza for a virtual happy hour with fellow alumni working in the Wichita area. Catch up with friends and colleagues while you learn the latest news from Green Hall.

4-5 p.m. CT
Friday, July 24

Give your career a strong foundation

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The Water Cooler, June 2020

Posted on Jun 18, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


The KU Alumni Association joins the University, nation and world in denouncing racism and the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others. As the recent letter from Dave Roland (National Chair, Board of Directors), Tamara Huff-Johnson (President, Black Alumni Network), and Heath Peterson (President, KU Alumni Association) states, the KU Alumni Association is committed to equity, inclusion and the upholding of the ideals that the Jayhawk represents.

This commitment to being part of the solution extends to the pages of the Water Cooler. As we move forward and continue to grow, we will redouble our efforts to offer content that not only provides the latest in industry and career trends but also helps us live up to our Jayhawk ideals.

This month’s Water Cooler revolves around a theme of financial literacy and wellness. You’ll also find links to articles and podcasts that can help businesses learn how to become more just and equitable–part of the long-term solution to ending racism and building stronger communities.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

P.S. Remember, Jayhawks flock together. Be a resource to the class of 2020 through one-on-one connections in KU Mentoring or gift a one-year membership to kickstart their KU Alumni career.

Let’s Talk: Financial Literacy

The benefits of saving money: set goals, spend less and save more
The average American isn’t saving nearly enough.

According to a Federal Reserve survey, if faced with an unexpected $400 expense, almost 40% of American adults say they wouldn’t be able to cover it with cash, savings or a credit card charge they could quickly pay off.

Have these savings shortcomings always existed? Not exactly, the data shows.

Take a closer look at the benefits of saving money

*Sponsored by our connections at INTRUST Bank

How to save money by spending intentionally
When so many have lost their jobs and so many more are wondering what’s next, spending less and saving more feels a lot like the right thing to do.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you could need to cut way back to an essentials-only budget, especially if you’re making a plan for recovering from job loss. But if you’re doing OK right now, it’s still a good idea to find opportunities to save money.

The 10 most common investing questions—answered

Investing. It’s complicated, foreign, and daunting, and yet, we’re secretly fascinated by it. Stocks. Bonds. Don’t they sound so intriguing?

Well, Career Contessa hit up some of their favorite financial sources and money experts to answer 10 common questions on personal investments. And, dare we say it? Learning all of this was kind of…fun.

The 30 best high-paying jobs of the future

The future of work is looking pretty bright, at least for nurses and software developers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections program publishes estimates for job growth across hundreds of occupations.

Business Insider combined those job growth projections with 2019 median annual earnings for each occupation from the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics program, using the geometric mean of the two numbers, to find roles that are both growing and high-paying.

Ask your money questions

For so many of us, a big part of the coronavirus uncertainty has to do with money — our income, our jobs, and our savings and investment accounts.

The Ellevest team is here all day, every day, continuously answering money questions — in the order they get them, right here on this page. All questions asked, by anyone, are listed anonymously in case they help others. Bookmark this page and check back regularly for new entries.


Off-Campus Student Housing at Best Western Plus. Full amenities. No lease. $1,295 monthly.


The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

Compassionate Conversations

What do I say? How to communicate social support, initiate authentic conversations with coworkers during turbulent times

Employees are experiencing today’s tumultuous environment differently, depending on race, family status, socioeconomic status and physical location. Here are some thoughts on how to communicate with humility and empathy in your everyday workplace conversations.

Activate your allyship: 4 ways to be a workplace activist

In many offices, virtual or otherwise, Black professionals and allies are left with more questions than answers.

What should I do if my company is silent about racism? How can I take a stand? Amplify my voice? How do I address racism without losing my job?

The Riveter shares four tips to become a workplace activist and activate allyship.

HBR Ideacast: Corporate America’s Work in Fighting Racism is Just Beginning

Ella Washington, an organizational psychologist at Georgetown University, argues that private sector American organizations have a big role to play in sustaining the fight for racial justice that has gained such momentum in recent weeks.

Washington explains how to build more a more just workplace — and society — over the long term.



Campus Connections

Our online MBA prepares you to become tomorrow’s global leader

With our highly ranked online MBA, you can build a strong network as a Jayhawk and develop the skills you need to advance your career. Ranked the No. 31 Best Online MBA by US News & World Report, our online MBA provides the same quality education as an on-ground program with the added flexibility to achieve your ideal study-life balance. Our curriculum is focused on the opportunities and challenges of being a global leader.

Learn more today!

*Sponsored by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business

Diverse KU career prepares Cook for public affairs role

Announcing that he had filled a key role in his senior leadership team this spring, Chancellor Doug Girod named Dave Cook as the University’s new vice chancellor for public affairs and economic development.

Leading a public affairs unit he calls “very strong,” Cook will look for new opportunities to involve all campuses and affiliates. “Now is a great time to call on those key KU stakeholders who love the University and want to step up and help.”


Jayhawks in the News

Jayhawks in the news

Veteran learns valuable lessons while earning degree in honors program at KU Edwards Campus

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q & A series, outstanding 2020 KUEC graduates share how KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Nate Eikmeier.

Emergency manager helps guide safety-first response to pandemic threats

As a fire control radar technician on the Navy’s advanced Aegis combat weapon system, Andrew Foster watched for potential threats far beyond the horizon. When danger loomed, he promptly delivered options and solutions up the change of command—wartime experience that perfectly suits his current mission as KU’s emergency management coordinator.
“I started watching [coronavirus] reports in early January,” he says, “when reporting started coming out of China about this mystery illness that was killing people off.”


Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Re-Entry and Engaging All Learners: Designing for the Future of Learning

This interactive session will focus on ways to plan and design for the blended or hybrid learning experience that awaits us in the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond.

2-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30

Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Wellness & Self-Care

Includes presentations and a panel discussion by outstanding practitioners currently working to support mental health and wellness for teachers, students, and famlies.

2-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2


Stay confident with KU behind you


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The Water Cooler, May 2020

Posted on May 20, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


May is traditionally filled with graduation memories and though the Class of 2020’s walk down the Hill was postponed, we congratulate and welcome our newest graduates to the proud ranks of KU Alumni.

In this issue of the Water Cooler you’ll find articles relevant to recent graduates and seasoned alumni alike, including the value of volunteering and mentoring, where to find virtual internships, professional development opportunities and, because we know many of you are considering furthering your education, we’ve featured an exciting new course the School of Business is offering in its online MBA program.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

p.s. Even in tough times, Jayhawks flock together. See how you can make a difference for a 2020 graduate.

Career Talk

Why volunteering right now could be a smart thing to do

Maybe you’ve been laid off or furloughed. Maybe you’re still working, but your normally full social life is … not so much. Maybe you’d been looking for a job for a while already, and suddenly so are millions of other people.

And meanwhile, people need help. Volunteering some of your extra time, if you have it, can help both your community and your career — whether you’re looking for a job or just looking to grow.

Firstly, it’s a networking opportunity.

How to be a happy and productive remote worker

Whether you’ve been working remotely for a decade or are just getting started on your remote working journey, there are ways of making sure it’s a delight instead of a total drag.

In a recent survey, 77% of respondents reported greater productivity when working remotely compared to working in an office setting. In a different survey, 82% of respondents reported feeling happier when working remotely.

However, remote work is not all sunshine and yoga pants.

Suffering Zoom fatigue? How to fix that

Zoom fatigue is real and it’s hitting us quickly! This podcast discusses what Zoom fatigue is, why you are not crazy for getting exhausted just thinking about another video call and actionable ways to overcome this fatigue with Tracy Hooper, founder of The Confidence Project.

Summer internship canceled? Not at these companies embracing virtual versions

So far, 200 graduate and undergraduate students have signed up for a summer of online courses, long-distance social networking and remote teamwork at insurance giant, Humana.

But the company is still looking for more.

It has space for candidates who might be interested in learning about corporate strategy, marketing, health care delivery, analytics and operations.


The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


Campus Connections

The online MBA’s capstone experience emphasizes leadership

This summer, the University of Kansas School of Business will add a new course to the online MBA program! The pilot capstone course promises to add energy and excitement to the curriculum, as well as emphasize leadership and decision-making in a data-centric business environment. Learn more from program director, Steve Leonard, during our June 9th live webinar.

Register today!

*Sponsored content by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business

Free and low-cost online learning and professional development from KU in KC

Working from home doesn’t have to mean forgoing professional development.

Developing clear communication styles within your team, learning to be an effective leader, or developing valuable skills you can bring to your team is just as important as it’s ever been.

Read more

Jayhawks launch podcast focused on marketing excellence in the New Midwest

CultivatED Marketer is a bi-weekly podcast focusing on the Midwest marketing communications community — and, more specifically, the professional development needs of that community.

The mission at CultivatED Marketer is to help grow brand YOU.

Read more

Professional & Continuing Education: TECH3060 – Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Organizations, both public and private, need to work faster, reduce costs, and maintain high standards of consistency and quality. They can achieve these goals through improvement programs such as Lean and Six Sigma.

The Lean process emphasizes waste reduction and improved processing speed, and Six Sigma stresses an analytical approach to the elimination of defects and the reduction of variation. When combined, they can solve organizational problems and improve performance, leading to a competitive edge.

This five-day program prepares new Green Belts to lead projects and contribute to improving services and manufacturing.

Read more

Distance master’s program creates new opportunities

KU’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology offers two ways for people to earn a Master’s of Science degree online without relocating or interrupting their careers.

The department’s literature-based and laboratory-based Distance Master’s Degree programs allow students to earn a Master of Science degree in a collaborative academic environment from anywhere in the world.

Read more


Jayhawks in the News

Mentoring programs help female economists secure tenure-track positions

There remains a dearth of women in economics, with far fewer females securing tenure-track jobs and publishing academic research than men. Past research points to several barriers contributing to this “leaky pipeline” including: access to mentoring, social networks, and implicit biases.

With some help from University of Kansas Economics professor, Donna Ginther, many groups, including the American Economic Association (AEA), are working to change this through workshops and other endeavors.

Read more

McNulty’s volunteer army joins COVID-19 battle

As William McNulty helped care for survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, an insight guided him to co-found Team Rubicon: Military veterans—trained in crisis management, experienced at responding calmly under pressure and passionate about service—are ideally suited to fill a gap in disaster-relief efforts around the globe.

Ten years later, with more than 100,000 volunteers in five countries, McNulty, c’01, and Team Rubicon face a global health crisis that calls for different tactics.

How does a group known for putting armies of volunteers on the ground contribute to a pandemic response that counts lockdowns and social distancing among its most effective tactics?

Read more

Hawks to Watch: Alex Nichols, content producer & writer

Since graduating with a degree in English from KU nearly nine years ago, Alex Nichols, c’11, has applied his comedic talents and knack for storytelling to a wide range of creative endeavors, working both on-stage and behind-the-scenes in independent sketch comedy, short fiction, online marketing, television, and, most recently, educational content development.

But moving outside of his comfort zone didn’t always come naturally for Alex, and saying “yes” to new gigs often required him to confront self-doubt and fear of failure.

At the end of the day, he eventually realized, it’s all about perseverance, trial and error, and a willingness to move forward when things don’t go as planned. In his words, “just do stuff.”

Read more

Three alumni receive top award from KU Law

Three University of Kansas School of Law alumni will receive the law school’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, this year.

The award celebrates graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to the legal field and service to their communities and the university.

Stinson LLP Managing Partner Mark Hinderks, c’79, l’82; Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chair Madeleine McDonough, l’90; and retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Clyde Tate II, c’79, l’82 will receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Read more


Leadership Daily from KU

Treat yourself to free, “snackable” education to start your lunch hour with 15-minute, mid-day webcasts to enhance your professional skills

12:15-12:30 CDT
Every weekday

Rock Chalk Connect | Wichita Virtual Happy Hour

Join the Wichita Jayhawk Alumni Network for a virtual happy hour! One Jayhawk connection can change your world (even virtually.)

5-6 p.m. CDT
Thursday, May 21

Webinar: Taking your Voice Online: Designing a Digital Campaign

The Women’s Leadership Series empowers women to serve in leadership roles – both elected and appointed.

12 p.m. CST
Thursday, May 21

Want to receive this monthly email in your inbox? Subscribe here. Find an archive of past issues of The Water Cooler here

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KU alumnus makes Jayhawk masks that give back

Posted on May 14, 2020 in Alumni News

John Killen

If you’re looking to mask your Jayhawk pride, John Killen is your guy.

Killen, j’85, is president & CEO of WinCraft, a manufacturer of licensed and promotional products for over 500 colleges and professional sports teams. As COVID-19 continued to spread, the company began to look at how they could help.

“After looking at what was needed, we knew we could produce masks to help,” he says. “We went to KU first to develop the product and the campaign due to our great relationship with the University. The first masks we sold had Jayhawks on them.”

Since then, more than 200 colleges have reached out to produce masks with their school represented on them.

The production of each mask comes with a purpose. A portion of proceeds from each Jayhawk mask will go to the KU COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. In addition, WinCraft donated hundreds of masks to essential KU employees in Facilities, Housing & Dining Services, and Kansas Athletics.


“Wincraft is a private company and likes to give back,” Killen says. “We asked KU for a charitable component, and they suggested donations for the [COVID Relief] fund. The response has already been overwhelming, with thousands already sold.”

The machine-washable masks are available for sale at KU Bookstore and Rally House. Please note that the masks are not intended to be used as medical grade Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Water Cooler – April 2020

Posted on Apr 29, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

To our Jayhawk community,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused daily disruptions and uncertainties in our professional and personal lives that have put us all on our back foot. In the pages of Kansas Alumni magazine, in the streams of our digital communications, across our virtual networks and here in the Water Cooler, we are putting our best foot forward.

We’re celebrating and supporting Jayhawks by highlighting resources and opportunities for you. We strive to unite KU Alumni – even though we must physically be apart for now.

Also, to keep you up-to-date on career resources across the University and our alumni community we are pleased to start bringing the Water Cooler to your inbox monthly.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

Coping during COVID-19

What to do if you’re feeling lonely during the Coronavirus

As the current crisis unfolds across this country, and around the world, the typical first human instinct is to fold inward — to protect those closest and hunker down for the long haul.

But we must resist this urge. We must be proactive in our efforts to connect with others, even as officials order social distancing. If we don’t, this tragedy unfolding before our eyes will be far worse.

Working from home? 12 guides to help navigate the remote life

With options to work from home on the rise globally, companies have been forced to reckon with the fact that remote work, works.

According to Owl Labs 2019 State of Remote Work report, remote workers are not only happier at work, but they’re 13% more likely to stay at their current job for the next 5 years than their onsite counterparts.

3 tips to avoid WFH burnout

Lots of research suggests that drawing lines between our professional and personal lives is crucial, especially for our mental health. But it’s difficult, even in the best of circumstances. In no small measure, that’s because the knowledge economy has radically transformed what it means to be an “ideal worker.”

Bring campus home with Zoom backgrounds from The Hill

If you’re spending a lot of time on Zoom these days (like we are), we’re here to help.

Our team has put together a set of KU-themed custom Zoom backgrounds— so instead of seeing your home office (or lack of!) your colleagues and friends can see beautiful views of your beloved alma mater.

5 tips on landing a job during the coronavirus pandemic

From surging unemployment numbers to the sudden shift to remote work, the coronavirus pandemic makes landing a job right now even more complicated. But that doesn’t have to stop you. Here are five tips on how to set yourself up for success when this is over.

18 companies hiring remote workers amid the Coronavirus pandemic

Responsible for leading a group into a new world of working from home? Read these four strategies for remote work to keep your team secure, productive and positive in these new circumstances.

Your unemployment resources by state

This list of resources and links is originally based on a Reddit submission but is constantly being updated as more information becomes available.

Five lessons to help you move your conference online

University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education (KUPCE) staff members were forced to make quick decisions regarding a host of conferences and events, including the 800+ attendee Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC) scheduled for March 18-20 in Dallas.

Learn how KU Professional & Continuing Education turned a 50-year-old, on-site conference into an engaging online event in less than a week.

Jayhawks in the News

Medical resident draws on international missions in battle against global pandemic

Zach Krumsick’s international sojourns to Peru, Belize, Mexico and Kenya have stood in good stead throughout his medical education. Working in the emergency medicine department of the only state-verified Level I Trauma Center in middle Tennessee, Krumsick, m17, is on the front lines of the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been told by administrators that we were probably one of the most well-prepared hospitals in the area,” Krumsick says, “but [Nashville’s March] tornado set us back really far.”

Hawks to Watch: Kiel Johnson, Artist

To say that Kiel Johnson enjoys the creative process is something of an understatement. He’s positively enamored with it. On any given day, you might find the LA-based artist fashioning an old-timey Western stagecoach out of cardboard, sending sparks flying from metal sheets, or constructing a miniature cityscape from cut-outs, equipped with a winding river and steamboat.

He is, admittedly, a bit obsessed with building and inventing. But don’t call him a workaholic. The way he looks at it, work and play are one and the same.

Young alumna lives girlhood dreams with chic KC bridal boutique

Paige Albert can still remember growing up in Andale and falling in love with fashion and love stories while drawing sketches of what her future wedding gown would look like.

Now 25, Albert, c’19, owns Something White Bridal Boutique, a premier bridal shop in Kansas City’s Crossroads District that features gowns created by designers from around the world.

Albert was still a KU student when she bought Something White Bridal Boutique—Kansas City’s bridal shop of the year for 2020—which she describes as “simple, chic and unique.”


First Annual Virtual Destination Talent: Find, Showcase, and Connect with Talent in Kansas City

Shape your organization’s talent pool, gain critical insight into trending workplace topics and earn SHRM credit all within one conveniently online conference.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. CST
Friday, May 1

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KU students, industry professionals connect at blockchain conference

Posted on Dec 12, 2019 in Alumni News

KU blockchain conference

A spring semester gift to the University of Kansas is already paying dividends.

On Feb. 7, Silicon Valley financial technology company Ripple awarded a $2 million grant to KU as part of the University Blockchain Research Initiative​. The program focuses on accelerating academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments at top universities.

Ripple is led by Brad Garlinghouse, c’94, who serves as CEO of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and digital-payment processing firm.

One of the programs benefiting from the grant is the KU Blockchain Institute, a student-led organization that focuses on advancing KU’s standing in the fast- developing field of blockchain. The group is open to students from all disciplines, including engineering, business, economics, mathematics, science, health care and technology.

Daniel Jones, a senior from Owasso, Oklahoma, is president and co-founder of the KU Blockchain Institute. His interest in blockchain was sparked by attending industry conferences and studying abroad.

“I was able to network with seasoned professionals who seemed adamant that blockchain technology would be a huge disruption for their industry,” Jones says. “I remember thinking, ‘If these executives are so worried about this technology, maybe I should check it out.’ Incumbent firms may see blockchain as a major disruption, but the KU Blockchain Institute sees blockchain as a serious opportunity for student entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo.”

Daniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack SchraadDaniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack Schraad, co-founder and vice president of the KU Blockchain Institute

Since its launch in August 2018, the KU Blockchain Institute has hosted three large conferences, including an October 2019 conference on cybersecurity. Speakers from FedEx, Lockheed Martin, the University of Arkansas and IBM attended, as well as Garlinghouse.

So what exactly is blockchain?

“Blockchain uses applied mathematics and cryptography to create trust in any transaction,” Jones explains. “Blockchain is a verifiable data structure that creates trust or traceability through a transfer of value. The transfer of value takes place through a transaction around a digital asset. ​A digital asset can represent any piece of physical property or store of value.”

“Using distributed ledger technology, blockchain creates a direct peer-to-peer exchange system for the transfer of value. Blockchain is to value what the internet is to information.”

—Ryan Camenzind

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Jayhawks connect at Kyou Networking Day

Posted on Aug 8, 2019 in Career/Life

Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

More than 300 Jayhawks at 22 different events came together Aug. 1 over coffee, at happy hours or online to network and make new connections for Kyou Networking Day.

One of those connections came from San Antonio, where 30 Jayhawks attended a happy hour. “We had a woman who had recently moved to San Antonio and was looking for a job in the education field,” said network leader Morgan Bertram, d’02. “She was able to connect with a principal of a local school who was able to help her in finding some teaching openings.”

Here’s a look at a few more of the many events that alumni organized for Kyou Networking Day.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

“Out of 11 attendees, four of them were from Hugoton, Kansas. Small town, small world!” -Network leader Julie Andrews, d’81


Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect
Twelve Houston Jayhawks made the trip to Holman Draft Hall for a happy hour, including three attendees who had moved to Houston in the last six months.

North Denver

Jayhawks connect

“We had a great Denver Kyou Networking Day breakfast this morning. There were seven KU alumni in attendance, two returning from a previous breakfast event. And Chris won the award for furthest drive, joining us in north Denver from over an hour away!” – Network volunteer Alisha Templeton, c’01


Chicago Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

Fifteen KU alumni spent their Thursday afternoon together, including a large group of recent graduates.

If you enjoyed your network’s event, or want to see one happen in your own city, visit our volunteer resource page. To learn more about how KU can help you find a career connection of their own, visit the Jayhawk Career Network.

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